With 2 minutes, 45 seconds remaining in the first half of Monday Night Football, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees let a pass fly like he has so many times during his legendary NFL career, but this one was different than any other. It was history.
A 62-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Quan Smith was a big play to help the Saints beat the Washington Redskins 43-19 at the Superdome in New Orleans, and it also helped Brees pass Peyton Manning to become the NFL’s all-time passing yardage leader. That’s just not the best part of the story.
Yes, breaking a record is amazing. It’s even better to do it at home in front of the fans that will forever have fond memories when his playing days in The Big Easy are over. However, Brees’ embrace with his family when the game stopped might be the most lasting memory of all.
With playing professional football comes sacrifice, especially with time away from family. Having his wife and four kids on the sideline had to have been an amazing moment.
But in that moment, Brees, the Austin, Texas native and former Purdue Boilermakers superstar, wasn’t worried about being a 6-foot tall football player with now one of the game’s most prestigious NFL records of career passing yards. It didn’t matter that over 70,000 people in the stands were cheering for him, either. Brees seemed to block all of that out.
This wasn’t about him getting all of the glory. This was a Hall of Fame teaching moment to his young sons.
“I love you guys so much,” Brees said to his three sons. “You can accomplish anything in life if you’re willing to work for it. Alright? I love you boys. I love you.”
Brees finished 26-for-29 for 363 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. It was a vintage performance on a historic night.
And to get to hug his family and give his kids a valuable life lesson right after it happened?
It doesn’t get much better than that.